August 26, 2010

QDDR | Planning Diplomacy and Development

By Brian Burton

A comprehensive reexamination of State and USAID strategy, operations and capabilities is needed to enhance the ability of those organizations to effectively advance broader national security and foreign policy objectives. The QDDR process provides an opportunity to apply a top-down strategic planning effort to align resources and regional strategies with national priorities, and to effectively communicate State and USAID requirements to the policy and legislative communities.

While State and USAID clearly differ from DOD in function, structure and organizational culture, the concept of force planning offers a possible mechanism to address the planning needs of State and USAID. While it does not replace the need for policy planning and other forms of strategy-making, the State Department and USAID could benefit from a rigorous linkage of strategy and resources by developing a planning and requirements construct of their own. This working paper outlines key steps the State Department and USAID could initiate in pursuit of a planning process modeled on DOD force planning.


  • Brian Burton

  • Commentary
    • Real Clear World
    • February 24, 2021
    Venezuela's Story: Democratic Paths to Authoritarianism

    Venezuelan presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro have twisted democracy to achieve authoritarian ends....

    By Katie Galgano

  • Commentary
    • The National Interest
    • September 25, 2017
    The Problem with 'the Best of Intentions' Foreign Policy

    The nineteenth-century Germans focused so much on philosophy partly in order not to compete with the protean genius of Goethe, who had dominated all the other literary genres ...

    By Robert D. Kaplan

    • Commentary
    • The Wall Street Journal
    • August 24, 2016
    Australia’s Ambivalence Makes It Vulnerable

    With Washington’s rising focus on Asia, America’s close and longstanding alliance with Australia has taken on new significance. Australia today is boosting its military streng...

    By Richard Fontaine

    • Commentary
    • The Diplomat
    • July 27, 2016
    A Thaw in the US-New Zealand Nuclear Freeze

    The visit of a U.S. Navy warship to New Zealand in November will mark the close of a 30 year period of security estrangement between two democratic nations. Announced during V...

    By Richard Fontaine

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia